We've made it to Innsbruck
Our departure on June 15 from the Vrijthof seems centuries ago. But we will never forget this beautiful start of our world trip. We arrived in Innsbruck (Austria) on Sunday July 5 and cycled 1,125 km so far. We look back on 3 beautiful weeks through Germany, Belgium, Luxembourg, France and Austria.
On Wednesday June 17, we were able to go on the Internet and read all the sweet messages about our departure. There were also a lot of new subscriptions to our blog!! Wow! And so many donations. 😀☺️
A place to sleep
So far we have not paid for our overnight stays yet. Every day it is a surprise where we will sleep that night. We ask locals if they know where the football club is. We explain that we are looking for a place to sleep for one night because we are on a world bicycle tour. In this way we meet a lot of people. This is what we really love. Football clubs are our favorite so far.
The places where we have slept in the past 3 weeks:
1. Football club 6x
2. Dairy farm 3x
3. Tent in garden 2x
4. At someone's home 2x
5. Greenhouse out of use
6. Tennis club
8. Garden shed
10. Outside under clubhouse’s shelter
Beautiful ideas and sweet gestures
We have the most bizarre encounters that lead to the nicest places to stay for the night. From retired singer to millionaire. From football club’s president to farmer. Our story stirs up a lot and makes people rethink life. For example, a shed at a dairy farm in Montenau will be tidied for future travellers and Christmas market houses will be rented out at a dairy farm in Hinterzarten. We inspire others and give positive energy.
Where we spend the night, we are usually offered something.
A box full of cherries
Bottle of Alsace wine
Spaghetti with tomato sauce
Nacho chips with dip
3 bottles of champagne the night before we were married for 2 years
4 cutlets with sauce and potatoes
A small buddha
A morning serenade on guitar
A beautiful but sometimes difficult route
Vennbahn, Green Route, section of Eurovelo 5 along the Saar canal, Alsace along the Marne-Rhine canal, Véloroute de Vignoble, Schwarzwald, Bodensee, Fernpas. The mountains around us are slowly increasing, as are the cows and sheep with their tinkling bells. The many half-timbered houses with their shutters in all colors make the picture complete.
The route is sometimes really tough. After the 1st week we sent some of our luggage home. We lost 10 kilos. In Innsbruck we will make a second selection. Ben is busy planning the next route and sees mountains of 15%!! So we really have to lower our load.
Until now, the route from the Bodensee to Austria was the most difficult one. It was continuous steep and there was a lot of traffic. The Fernpas was quite heavy as well. In the Schwarzwald we were lucky to be able to cycle on the motorway without traffic: the road was being repaired so we had a very wide cycle path.
The first day in Aachen was busy and annoying with all those drain covers on the bicycle lane. The Vennbahn is very beautiful, comfortable and quite flat. The only downside is the fences at the crossing points: with a widely packed bicycle it is difficult to maneuver around it. And then we encountered that bridge somewhere in France with the only solution being a slot on the side. Or we have to unload and load the bikes. We choose the slot, but it was not easy. One by one we brought the bike up on one side and down on the other. Linda at the front with her buttocks against the bar and Ben pushing the bike and making sure the wheel stays in the slot. Tilting a fully packed bicycle this way is an art.
At castle “Hochschwanstein” in Schwangau we celebrated our first 1,000 km.
What will we do differently the next 99,000 km:
Inflatable pillow in bag with nightwear;
Poncho and overshoes ready to take when it starts to rain (under the net). The same goes for a jacket in cold weather (in an Exped waterproof bag under the net).
Socket charger in handlebar bag;
Trips will also be planned with Komoot.
Everything has gone well so far except for a few minor setbacks. Linda's Cinq 5 doesn't work. That's a technical part of our bikes to charge other devices. For now this isn’t really important, but we will be in situations when we won’t have electricity for a long time. Then you still want to be able to charge your Garmin and phone. Power banks empty faster due to the heat and cold. And isn’t it great to generate electricity by cycling? The manufacturer of the Cinq 5 in Gundelfingen “Tout Terrain” does not want to help us directly. On Tuesday July 7 we went to a bicycle shop in Innsbruck “Veloflott” who’s familiar with this system.
In addition to this technical problem, we had a much more important problem on one evening. Our Primus Onmi Light Ti burner did’t work. At 10:10 pm we still had nothing to eat and we were stuck to raw tomatoes and mushrooms. We now have a 2nd more robust burner and the titanium burner has been repaired.
Every night we are at a different place. In the morning it is a whole ritual of getting up, washing, breakfast and packing. You do forget some items sometimes. Linda has now lost a pair of rain shorts and has forgotten her mirror of her toiletry bag and a small bottle of Care Plus organic soap. Ben lost his comb. No essentials though and it saves some weight. 😉
We would like to end this blog with a nice statement that we heard along the way:
“Fahrrad macht Frei”
and a comment on Facebook “Everything you leave at home is beneficial”.